Numerous events are planned to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the successful international partnership between Grand Valley and Kingston University, located outside of London.
Since it was established in 1986, hundreds of students, faculty and staff members have participated in exchanges between the two universities. Rebecca Hambleton, director of study abroad and international partnerships for the Padnos International Center, said the partnership first concentrated in the sciences but has since expanded to include diverse academic programs like art and design, nursing, English, business, public administration, engineering and more.
“This partnership currently offers the most comprehensive curricular options for student, faculty and staff exchanges,” Hambleton said.
Brian Curry, who had served as professor of biomedical sciences at Grand Valley, helped develop the partnership. Curry hosted Bob Godfrey from Kingston in 1986 and then explored a partnership. Curry, who now lives in the United Kingdom, will return to Grand Valley later this month for the celebration.
Ginger Randall, associate dean of students, was among the first faculty from Grand Valley to visit Kingston. In 1996, Randall served as international student advisor and traveled to Kingston to see how its student services operated.
“I wanted to meet with people in all areas of student services,” Randall said. She was also in London at the same time Grand Valley’s crew team raced in its first regatta against Kingston.
A reception to celebrate the partnership is planned for Friday, April 27, at Tre Cugini Restaurant, 122 Monroe Center NW in Grand Rapids. Grand Valley will welcome Kingston’s vice chancellor, Julius Weinberg, and the head of international development, Heather Forland, at the celebration.
Faculty and staff members are invited; RSVP by April 20 by sending an email to Vicki Wenger at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 331-3898.
Artist and Grand Valley alumna Jacqueline Garner studied at Kingston in 2010. Photographs she took in London will be displayed at Tre Cugini during the reception. While at Kingston, Garner studied with Vince Wade, head of photography. Garner said Wade taught her to photograph London from a photographer’s eye, rather than a tourist’s eye.
In July, Grand Valley and Kingston will participate in a collaborative project “Bodies in Motion” combining dance, music and digital innovation, which will be broadcast online. More information about the Kingston partnership and upcoming events is online at www.gvsu.edu/kingston25.